Broken Wings

A Pirates of the Caribbean story by Merrie

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters from POTC, but I'd certainly let Cpt. Jack own me. *drool*

Summary: Captain Jack has lost his ship, his crew, and nearly his life to a horrible new curse. Will this Sparrow be able soar again after his wings have been broken?

Characters: Captain Jack Sparrow, Will Turner, Elizabeth Swann, Commodore Norrington, and all the wonderful cast of POTC.

Author's Note: Even though I've seen POTC 3 times now, this is my first attempt at writing fanfic for it. Please, if something seems or is off with my story, lemme know so I can fix it. Savvy?

Also, read the SUMMARY! There will be character deaths and much angst in at least the beginning of this story! I hope this doesn't turn anyone away. It'll still be good, I promise!

Rating: This story is rated PG-13 for violence and language.

Prologue: The Lost Treasure of O Gato Preto

Captain Jack Sparrow surveyed the cave with a broad grin, gold and silver teeth dulling glowing in the muted torchlight from behind him. The crew members were so anxious to have their hands on the treasure that lay in front of them, that he could almost feel the weight of it pushing at his back. Finally, something was going right. Deciding the crew had waited long enough; he stepped aside and spread his hands in a broad gesture. "Take all ye can, men! Ye've earned it!" He shouted as his men, near giddy at the sight of so much gold. It wasn't the largest cash he had seen by far, but it was enough to keep him and his men happy, for now at least. Members of his crew stole by him quickly, pocketing whatever shiny baubles struck their fancies.

He had been tracking this treasure for months; searching out any and every rumor or whisper of the lost treasure of o gato preto. Or the treasure of the black cat in king's English. Not an assuming name in the slightest, but Jack didn't much care. Gold was gold, no matter what name it came attached with. Examining a rather ornate golden vase, Jack couldn't help remember the last time he had been in such a place as this.

*The cold steel sliding effortlessly through his yielding flesh. The numbness, so like what he knew death would be blanketing him afterwards. The look of absolute horror on young Will's face at the sight of him 'dead.' Seeing the bones of his hand own hand without skin and out through to the other side.*

These images still haunted Jack, although you couldn't tell by looking at him. Looking down at a hand that still bore an ugly red scar where he had cut it, and placing his other hand directly over the all too subtle thin scar in the middle of his chest where Barbossa had run him through, Jack shuddered. Those two marks would forever remind him of the events that had transpired. He had known what no other man had known. He had known death, he had died, and yet he lived. And he never wanted to experience the like again. If he had to die, then so be it. He was Captain Jack Sparrow, and he would take it like the man he was. But to live on, undead . cursed for all eternity. No, he'd rather face a thousand hangings than have to go through that again. Anamaria had asked him about it. Will had asked him about it. Even Elizabeth had given into unseemly curiosity to ask him what it was like. What death was like. He couldn't tell them. They didn't know. They couldn't know. And they definitely wouldn't understand.

"What be troubling ye, Jack?" Annemarie's lilting accent called to him.

"Captain, love." Jack muttered without turning toward her. He could hear the concern in her voice but didn't want to share his thoughts. Turning towards her with a manic grin, he waved a bejeweled hand in dismissal. "It's nothing that ye need bother yourself with. Go, join the men. Ye've deserved it." Anamaria nodded, not entirely buying the false front of cheerfulness, but went to take her own share of the spoils. Jack sighed and cursed himself for thinking such melancholy thoughts. 'So what if ye died? Pull yourself together! You're Captain Jack Sparrow for Christ's sake! Ye've got your ship, the sea, your life, and all the gold you could possibly ask for! What more do you need?' "Some rum." Jack grumbled.


Jack frowned in concentration as he carefully wove a delicate gold chain around and through one of his many braided strands of hair. Many pirates kept tokens and trinkets from the loot the gathered, Jack simply chose to keep them where he could get to them easily; on his person. He also used his long hair to hide weapons that guards might not otherwise look for. The long sliver of bone attached to one strand, for example, was actually a carefully concealed dagger and sheath. Not once in the many times Jack had been imprisoned had the guards thought to check it. Perhaps they simply didn't want to run their hands through his often salt encrusted and dirty hair, but that made no difference. The blade had gotten him out of many a tough situation when he didn't have a young blacksmith looking out for him. At the thought of Will he smiled and wondered how he and Elizabeth were getting on. It had been quite a few months since he had sailed out of Port Royal, once again master of his ship, and he had to admit that he missed the pair. He didn't miss the trouble young Will seemed to get himself, and consequently Jack into however, but he missed the lad's company. And Elizabeth, when she wasn't burning his rum, was a nice enough lass to talk to if a little hard headed at times.

Checking to make sure the gold chain was in place; Jack shook himself out of his memories and perched rather precariously on top of a pile of gold coins. Clearing his throat, he addressed his crew. "Listen up, ye scurvy dogs! I'm your captain, and I've got somethin' to say!" He waited until the giddy din at the sight of so much gold died down, and continued. "I wanted to share a toast with ye to celebrate our good fortune!" He turned to a pair of men standing close by who had been waiting for this moment. He had had them bring a couple of barrels of rum from the Pearl to shore for the toast. "Everyone find a glass! I'm sure there's some might fine ones around here if you know where to look!" Jack didn't have to wait long as the members of his crew held up various golden or silver goblets, chalices, or even plain bowls, ready to be filled with the rum. Jack nodded to the two men, and they went around the cave giving each man a liberal dose of the strong drink.

Once all the men had their rum in hand and their attentions turned back to him, Jack spoke. "To the crew of the Black Pearl. May ye all know many such days as this. And always remember. Take what ye can." Jack trailed off to let the men continue.

"And give nothing back!" The shouted in unison. At that, Jack drank. At first taste, Jack almost spit the liquid back out onto the coins he was perched on. It left a vile taste in his mouth unlike anything he had ever tasted before and felt a sudden rush of nausea overtake him. Swaying a bit more than his normal swagger, his eyes widened as the thought that it might have been poisoned sped across his mind. Surely his crew wouldn't try and mutiny twice, would they? Scanning a paranoid eye over the faces of his men, he was relieved to see no glances of hatred or jealousy directed his way. They were simply happy to be alive, happy to be rich and happy to be drinking rum. When Jack felt no further indications that his drink might have been poisoned he took a second much more tentative sip. He found his beloved rum just as he had always remembered. 'Hmm.perhaps it's this glass.' Jack wondered to himself. Realizing he was being foolish to think that only his glass could be poisoned when the rest of the crew was drinking of the same rum with no ill affects Jack knocked back the rest of the glass with a swift toss of his head.

Suppressing the urge to cough like a young lad who couldn't hold his liquor, Jack once again grimaced as the rum turned foul. What was going on? He glanced toward Anamaria, a long time lover of rum like himself, and saw that she seemed to be having no problems downing one glass after another of the drink. Feeling his gaze, she caught his eye and raised a dark eyebrow as to inquire what he was staring at. Jack shook his head, not wanting to seem foolish in front of her. A pirate stayed alive and in charge in large part due to his reputation, and he didn't certainly didn't want anyone to know that Captain Jack Sparrow was having trouble holding his rum. 'This is young Miss Swann's fault somehow, I know it. Bloody woman.' He grumbled to himself, bereft at the thought of all the burnt rum. Anamaria frowned at his shrug but turned back to her rum and the conversations of her fellow crewmates.

He glanced down to the chalice in his hand, hoping to figure out what was happening. It was a normal looking gold goblet, with a cat depicted on one side in dark obsidian. 'The treasure of o gato pesto, the treasure of the black cat.' Jack thought again to himself. He cast a quick glance over the various piles of treasure and noticed that the same lounging cat in dark relief seemed to be on every piece of it. There were some who believed black cats were unlucky, and meant death to those whose paths they crossed; even after all he had seen and done in his life, Jack had trouble believing in such simple superstitions. Gibbs had always assured anyone who would listen or even those who wouldn't, that having Anamaria on the Pearl would bring it nothing but bad luck. But ever since she had joined his crew the loot that had taken from various ships and treasure caches such as this had nearly doubled. Even though Jack wasn't superstitious, he was glad to have her on board. Another strong wave of nausea overtook Jack and this time he did stumble, golden coins spilling out from under his feet. He tried not to groan aloud, but couldn't stop a small noise of pain from escaping his slightly parted lips. 'What in God's name was going on?'

"Jack? Are you alright?" Anamaria's lilting voice called down to him.

He met her concerned eye and tried to grin. As she widened her eyes in a mixture of worry and fear and too a step backwards, he knew he had failed. Trying to wipe what had turned into an insane looking grimace off of his face, he spoke: "Captain, love. And I'm fine, really. I'm Captain Jack Sparrow." He straightened as much as he could to accompany his words.

Anamaria didn't seem to buy it and walked over to his side. "How long have I known you, Jack?" She waved a hand to silence him before he could mutter the inevitable 'Captain.' "I've certainly known you long enough to call ye by your first name, so still that gob o' yours and listen. You've been actin' strange ever since we left Port Royal." Her voice dropped to a whisper. "And now you're nearly toppling over in front of the crew. Don't lie to me, Sparrow. Tell me what's wrong. I can't afford you loosing control of this ship a second time."

Anamaria's words of loss of control should have rankled, but Jack paid them no mind. Seeing the determined look on her face, he knew he would have to tell her something as to why he was acting this way. "I'm just a bit tired, is all love. I didn't get much sleep last night all by me onesies if you catch my meaning." Jack gave her a wink and a leer but she seemed unaffected. The fact that he could feel a cold sweat beginning to trickle out from under the scarf that kept his hair back didn't help to convince her either. Jack let out a sigh and decided to do something he didn't often like to do when it could be avoided; tell the truth. "I.I don't know, love. Its prob'ly nothing.I just feel a mite strange is all."

"What do you mean? Strange how?" Anamaria asked, immediately going on the offensive. She had known Jack a long time and had learned to trust his instincts. If he felt that there was something not right about a situation, then you'd better get your arse out of there or you'd be meetin' your Maker right quick. Anamaria often wondered if that over-heightened sense of self- survival would have kicked in before arriving at the cave with the cursed Aztec gold, but that rat Barbossa had prevented her from ever finding out.

"Not like that, love. It's not anything in here, I don't think, just me. I feel a" Jack finally whispered.

"More so than usual?" Anamaria tried to joke with a raised eyebrow.

Jack couldn't stop the small smile that came to his face even through his current pain. "Yes, love. More so than usual. I don't know what it is, and I don't like it."

"Could it be.could it be the curse?" Anamaria asked in a quiet voice. Jack had never much spoken about the time he had been under the Aztec curse even when she had asked. He played everything pretty close to the vest now, and it annoyed the hell out of her. If he would just let her in, just for a second, then things might be different between them. Perhaps even Jack wouldn't have reason to complain about spending his nights alone. It wasn't as if Anamaria hadn't thought about renewing their relationship, she had. It was just that she couldn't stay with him if he didn't trust her. That wasn't the way she worked. Unfortunately, trusting people wasn't how Jack worked either. But, she had to try. "Please, tell me Jack." She paused a moment. "Trust me."

Jack sighed and ran a hand across his sweaty brow, not even bothering to correct her at the use of his Christian name. She was right about that, at least. They had known each other long enough to dispense with the titles. As for trusting her? That was a different story altogether. Ever since.He cursed to find that he had difficulty even thinking about the long since past event. Ever since his crew had mutinied, he had trouble trusting people. And he knew that if he indeed had any faults as so many people seemed to think of the infallible Captain Jack Sparrow, then that was most certainly one of them. He almost trusted Will, and perhaps even that crazed.whatever Elizabeth was to Will now. Wife? Fiancé? Jack hadn't been in Port Royal in months. For all he knew they had married the day he left. The young were brash like that.

Seeing the rather impatient look on Anamaria's face brought him out of his musings and back into his present situation. "I---I want to trust you, love. 'onestly I do. You'll just have to give old Jack here some time---" he was cut off as another wave of nausea threatened to topple him, this one even stronger than the last. In fact, he probably would have fallen if not for Anamaria's strong hand on his arm.

"What was that just now, Jack?" Anamaria asked with wide eyes. "You're not drunk, at least I don't think you are, and you were feeling fine yesterday. What's wrong?"

"I 'onestly don't know, love." Jack said around a grimace. "At first I thought it was the rum, but the crew seems to be fine and they're drinkin' quite a bit more of it right now than I am," He gestured to the imbibing crew with a bejeweled hand. "so I'm sadly not drunk either."

Anamaria's eyes widened as a disturbing thought came to her. "You don't think it's another you, Jack?" She asked with a worried look on her face, knowing that if Jack was indeed cursed, she most likely was as well.

"I don't know, love. I hope not. But if it is another curse, at least I've 'ad come experience in dealin' with 'em. You might say I was a bit of an expert." Jack smirked in her direction.

"But, there could be a curse?" Anamaria prodded.

"There's always a chance of discoverin' cursed treasure, love. That's what makes it so interesting. As for this treasure.well, the black cat did give me pause at first, but I don't believe in superstitions. You know that as well as any." He said, directed a pointed look at her. They both knew of Gibs' superstitions, and what that would mean for her if Jack took stock in them.

"I know you don't, Jack. And I thank ye for it. But what do you mean about black cats? What would that have to do with a curse?" Anamaria asked, a confused look on her face.

Jack took a deep breath to still his slowly worsening nausea and look askance at her. "Black cats are bad luck, love. It's said that if one crosses yer path you're double damned and doomed for sure."

Anamaria just looked at him as if he were telling her he could breathe underwater. She was about to tell him as much when a low rumbling echoed through the cave. Anamaria had heard that sound before and knew that they were in trouble. "Earthquake!! Everyone out, now!!" She shouted towards the slightly drunken members of their crew. Somewhat of a pessimist, she didn't believe they would make it out in time, but she grabbed Jack's arm and dragged him towards the exit, running as fast as she could. Jack quickly got the hint and followed, painfully but willingly.

Large chunks of rock from the cave's ceiling started falling everywhere they looked, and Anamaria turned her eyes away as she saw one of them land on an unsuspecting crew member. 'No time for pity. Get yourself out, now!' A voice insisted in her head. 'And Jack, don't forget about Jack!' Another voice amended. Sparing a quick glance at him over her shoulder while continuing to run for the exit, she saw he was struggling. He wasn't letting it slow him down, but it was obvious he was in pain. Before she could ask him how he was, a loud cracking noise startled her into looking above her. Eyes widening, she had just enough time to push Jack out of the way before everything went black.


A/N: Do you hate me for ending it here? If so, yea! I did something right, at least. Remember though, this is only the prologue. If the length of this chapter is any indication, we've got one long story in store for us. I can't wait. How about you? Did you like? I'm kinda worried about this, because I want to keep Jack as close to character as possible. So please, send your comments, constructive criticisms, and congratulations my way. Thanks for reading!!